Two of the sport’s most popular Brazilian fighters will coach the first international season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Dana White announced that Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort will be the coaches for TUF Brazil at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro this morning. He believes TUF Brazil will be “1,000 times bigger” than the US version.
“This show in the United States is huge — it’s one of the longest-running reality shows,” White said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s incredibly popular, it’s been huge for us there. We think it’s going to be 1,000 times bigger in Brazil. The amount of talent that’s in this country right now? There’s an undiscovered Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Vitor Belfort or Wanderlei Silva.”
Both fighters are looking forward to the opportunity as well as their rematch at the end of the season.
“It’s a great honor to fight against Wanderlei,” Belfort said. “I see it as a new fight and not a rematch.”
“I think the first fight was very quick, I couldn’t perform as well as I wanted to,” Silva said. “I think this is one of the biggest rematches in all of modern MMA and I’m very pleased to give this to my fans and to once again fight in Brazil. This is a dream.”
To be clear, Vitor Belfort will still fight Anthony Johnson at UFC 142 before the season starts filming. Vitor is then expected to meet Wand at some point in the summer after the season airs. When asked if it could happen at the big stadium show they are planning in Brazil next year, Dana White replied with a big grin, “Could be. We’ll see.”
A television deal with Globo has been secured to broadcast the season in Brazil beginning in March. FUEL TV is expected to air the season here in the US, but that’s not official just yet. Tryouts for TUF Brazil will take place tomorrow in San Paulo.
Image via Twitter.com/MikeChiappetta